An important suite of 7 gouache on paper paintings by Daniel Heyman.
In 2008 Heyman was invited to visit the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers in Philadelphia, where he listened to the stories of area African American men who lived in poverty and had been incarcerated. Surrounding each portrait are texts that describe, in the sitter's own voice, his life and how he came to be imprisoned. The stories often involve drugs, violence, abuse, and social injustices in Philadelphia. Heyman compels the viewer to listen actively to these stories. They are both visually interesting and hard to read. As the artist explains, "They tend to be really difficult stories so they shouldn't be read and accessed really easily and also they shouldn't be dismissed really easily". With these works Heyman gives voice to individuals whose specific stories and, by extension, identities are often negated or overlooked a tendency suggested by each sitter's closed mouth. "We know the stories about black men in Philadelphia, right? But we've never heard it from black men in Philadelphia". Excerpt from Emily Hage, Ph.D. exhibition catalogue "Look! Contemporary Art and Social Justice in Philadelphia" 2014.
Directly from the Artist
Look! Contemporary Art and Social Justice in Philadelphia, February 17-March 28, 2014 Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA
Emily Hage, Ph.D. "Social Justice and the Visual Arts", Catalogue for the exhibition Look! Contemporary Art and Social Justice in Philadelphia